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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2006 Feb;12(2):181-4.

Comparison of two fluorescent whiteners, Calcofluor and Blankophor, for the detection of fungal elements in clinical specimens in the diagnostic laboratory.

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Department of Microbiology, Hope Hospital, Salford, UK.


Fluorescent whiteners, such as Blankophor and Calcofluor white, bind to chitin and cellulose, and fluoresce when exposed to UV light. Detection of fungal elements from skin and nail samples was faster and more accurate using Blankophor compared with potassium hydroxide preparations and Calcofluor (sensitivity and specificity 100% and 86% vs. 83-90% and 84-88%, or 80% and 84%, respectively). Visibility was improved, and the procedures were simple, inexpensive and rapid, all of which are important considerations in a busy diagnostic laboratory.

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